FMLink Weekly News Digest I June 28, 2022
For the first time, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a National Emphasis Program to protect millions of workers from heat illness and injuries, whether from working outdoors or indoors. Through the program, OSHA will conduct heat-related workplace inspections before workers suffer completely preventable injuries, illnesses or, even worse, fatalities.

Heat illness affects thousands of indoor and outdoor workers each year and is tragically the leading cause of death among all weather-related workplace hazards. Workers in outdoor and indoor work settings without adequate climate-controlled environments risk hazardous heat exposure. Statistics show workers of color are exposed disproportionately to hazardous levels of heat in essential jobs in these work settings.

With a multitude of readers participating from FMLink and The McMorrow Reports, the Professional Facility Management Institute (ProFMI) is about to release the 2022 FM Training Outlook Survey results. The survey's questions considered the need for facility management (FM) training and credentials from both management and staff points of view.  

Facilities managers were asked how the “Great Resignation” impacted the FM profession and how employers attract and retain top talent to help meet their organization’s strategic goals. Respondents indicate that 66% of FM managers and staff have left or have considered leaving their job in the past year.

The results also reveal the top three ways for organizations to retain facility professionals:
  1. Increase compensation or benefits
  2. Provide opportunities for professional development or training
  3. Offer opportunities for internal advancement

FM training has value, according to survey respondents. A full 86% of FM employers say there’s a gap between the knowledge and skills their team has and what they need to excel. They believe training can make an impact, with 74% of FM employers saying that FM training and credentials result in better job performance. Further, 57% of FM employers are planning to implement FM training this year.

by Earl Geertgens, president and CEO of FreeAxez LLC (Originally appeared in the May/June 2022 issue of FMJ ).

Machines are often depicted cinematically in a post-apocalyptic world where humans and machines are at war. They are so advanced they no longer require humans to operate. Meant as a warning of over-reliance on technology, these depictions fall short, failing to acknowledge the ingenuity and thought leadership that brought the machines to life in the first place.

Smart technologies are intended to enhance lives, not replace them. This puts people in a watershed moment — one in which both the built environment and how people interact with it through technology are in a delicate balance. The Internet of Things (IoT), now gaining traction as a household term, is exactly as the name implies — a wireless connection between inanimate objects that are able to interact with and even respond to each other.

Cofi conference seating achieved what it set out to do. The Best of NeoCon 2022 jury declares that it makes a great first impression — and that was among the goals for The HON Company when it contracted its design brief to Brian Kane of Kane Design Studio, San Francisco.

Kane commented, "We wanted the design (of Cofi) to have a classic modern form, with the kind of quality and detailing that you would find on a beautifully crafted handbag or briefcase. Through its tailoring, slimness of form, and high quality elements — like polished aluminum arms and base — Cofi is an elegant and classic solution for exceptional seating needs."

Through its tailoring, slimness of form, polished aluminum arms and base, Cofi conference seating’s crossover design aesthetic allows it to work in the office as well as the home, appealing to both men and women.

The U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Green Proving Ground (GPG) program, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has selected six innovative building technologies for evaluation in GSA’s inventory, including the program’s first selections of electric vehicle (EV) charging technology. The Green Proving Ground program leverages GSA’s real estate portfolio to evaluate innovative building technologies in real-world settings. Results enable GSA to make sound investment decisions in next-generation building technologies. An additional three technologies will be tested through DOE’s commercial building partners.

The American-made technologies were chosen in response to GSA’s most recent Request for Information seeking technologies for net-zero carbon buildings.

Virtual Facility, a leader in the application of machine learning and automation to the management of alarms and maintenance work orders for the built world, has just announced it closed a $9 million seed round of funding from lead investor Camber Creek with participation from existing investors Primary and Ubiquity Ventures.

The proliferation of building data from the Internet of Things, the loss of experienced personnel to retirement, and adapting to a post-pandemic world has made the digital transformation of facilities management a high priority, notes the company. Virtual Facility helps facilities managers (FMs) and building engineers make data-driven decisions about alarms and maintenance work orders. Virtual Facility’s preliminary analysis shows that 47% of work done in response to alarms is unsuccessful. Alarm overload and nuisance alarms cause notifications about failing equipment and critical systems to be ignored.

As the surge in Covid-19 cases in the last quarter of 2021 delayed some companies’ return-to-the-office plans, the hybrid work model continues to gain traction. The 2022 State of the Workplace Data Report indicates increased demand for collaborative spaces, suggesting that today’s workplace must provide employees space and resources for interaction.

Other key findings include: 
  • Office use increased by 87% from Q1 2021 to Q1 2022, marking a significant change from the prior downward trend. 
  • The average number of collaborative spaces per floor increased by 45% in this same time period. 
  • Tuesday and Wednesdays are the busiest days at the office: Nearly 50% of weekly use of office spaces takes place on these days.

As workplace leaders navigate uncharted waters in the coming months, the findings of the State of the Workplace Report 2022 provide information to help make data-driven decisions about managing facilities and optimizing spaces. 

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